Ports, Inland Waterways and Rail have recieved a C+ in the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card.
The US’ 926 ports are essential to the nation’s competitiveness, serving as the gateway through which 99% of overseas trade passes, and responsible for US$4.6 trillion in economic activity — roughly 26% of the US economy.
ASCE has warned that as ships get bigger, congestion at landside connections to other components of the freight network is increasingly hindering ports’ productivity.
It added that larger ships are also requiring deeper navigation channels for the the water side, which only a few US ports currently have, and that ports have to invest in expansion, modernization, and repair to remain competitive globally and with one another.
Imports surged for US ports in January, with the country’s largest port complex in California, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, reporting strong growth.
Port of Virginia recently announced that it aims to be the “US East Coast’s premiere port” and accommodate vessels in the 12,000-plus TEU range after it completes two large-scale projects that will nearly double the terminal’s annual cargo handling capability in 2020.